July 30, 2009

Conversations with EJ

Mommy: Baby, can I kiss you?
EJ: No, mommy. I don't want to kiss you, you're so dirty!
Toinks! Hahaha!

Mommy: Baby, you're sooo cute!
EJ: And you're pretty too!
Hahaha, bolero!!!

Mommy is feeding EJ.
EJ: I am bigger now...and taller...and smarter...because I eat a yot (lot), I drink a yot (lot) and I sleep a yot (lot).
Okayyyyy. Hehehe.

Mommy: That cloud looks like a puppy.
EJ: No, it looks like a big dog!
When did you get smarter than me, huh? =)

And I'll be 31

..next month!

Wow, isn't that something? LOL!

Unlike some of the people I know, they lie about their age. It's their choice of course and I have nothing against it. Me? I don't care. It's just a number anyway.

I am thinking what special thing I'd do/buy on my 31st birthday. But I couldn't think of any. Ahh, yes. I wanted to buy a bag on sale I saw on Amazon. But somebody got to it first. Sayang!

~~~

I am going to enroll myself to a driving class this Saturday. I don't think I am too old to learn how to drive. Hopefully, I'll be cruising on or before my birthday. Hahaha!!!

~~~

We're planning to go to Ho Chi Minh on September. There's a 2-day holiday coming up and it's on a Friday and Monday making it a long weekend. Hoping to get a good airfare deal.

~~~

This time around, we're going to make it happen. We've been going back and forth with this decision (ever since Maldives days, Malaysia days and now here in Cambodia) and I think the only way is to do it!

I am talking about getting a yaya/helper. We're bringing in a helper from Manila. She's applying a passport on Monday and hopefully she'll be able to travel here next month. God willing!

~~~

I love Thursdays and the anticipation of the coming weekend. =)

July 28, 2009

This is Life

At one point after making the decision to move to PP and right before moving here, I asked myself if we've made the right decision to leave KL. KL is a great place and I loved it there.

But after staying here in PP for almost a month I can absolutely say we made the right decision. While I love the cosmopolitan KL, I also love the very easy and simple life here in PP. And I do admit I had a moment of retail therapy craving last week but a quick trip to Russian market solved it (although I didn't shop for myself, only for hubby and EJ).

Last Saturday we had another barbeque night. We started early so we would have more time to relax and just chill. We were lucky to have a very good weather that day.

EJ and daddy starting the fire.

EJ said: mommy, can you take a picture of me and my bike?

This time we had: pork, gizzard, sausage, prawn and banana =)

So happy to have this big space all to himself.

Chatting, looking at the stars, running around, chasing each other, playing tag, laughing out loud, drinking coke....Ahhh...this is life!

Malis

We've established our eating out routine here. In KL, we used to eat out prettty much half of the week, sometimes even more than half of the week. After all, we live on top of a mall and the restaurants are just elevator away from our home.

Here in PP, we only eat out every Friday night and Saturday lunch. It's because we sleep early here, exemption on the weekends of course.

So last Friday night we tried Malis.

According to The Phnom Penh visitor's guide "Malis is Phnom Penh's superlative Cambodian dining experience. Artfully prepared contemporary and traditional Khmer cuisine from the kitchen of the renowned Cambodian chef Luu Meng, served in stylish, elegant surroundings of Angkor-inspired pools, gardens and architecture."


This is the entrance of the restaurant.

A very cozy, relaxing ambience.

Before our orders arrived, they gave us this one. It tasted like a version of Filipino atsara with a bagoong-like on the side. And here's what we ordered:

Prawn cake

Fish Amok - traditional Khmer food.

Stuffed pork with some veggies on top.

Creme Caramel for dessert

And another dessert - banana wrapped in something (?) Hehehe. I forgot what it was called.

When we were about to eat, a very familiar person entered the restaurant. It was Sen. Franklin Drilon! I said hello and he was surprised by my greetings. He stopped and chatted with us for a while. He is a politician after all. Hehehe! I wanted to have a picture with him only I realized it too late. He was already inside the airconditioned part of the restaurant (we were dining al fresco) with some people. I wondered what he was doing in Phnom Penh?

Oh, and the food? It was okay. The fish amok was a little bland for my taste. I like my food a little bit salty. The price was also on the expensive side. So I am not sure if we're going back there.

Malis
#136, Norodom Boulevard

July 26, 2009

Award: Blog de Ouro

I received this golden blog award from Photo Cache of Worth a Thousand Words . Thank you so much! I really appreciate it =)



The rules for this award:

1. Show the award in your blog.
2. Link back to the blog that tagged you.
3. Pass the award to 8 blogs that you love. (Since this award has been around for a while feel free to pass it to as many or as few as you want.)
4. Inform the bloggers that they have been awarded.
5. Take your time, there's no pressure, but try to check out the other awarded blogs.

Now I am passing it on to my fellow Pinays here in Phnom Penh:

1) Pinaywifespeaks
2) Sreisaat

July 24, 2009

Barbeque Night

We've been planning to do barbeque at the rooftop for the past couple of weeks. Only we didn't find charcoal anywhere. But last Saturday, somebody volunteered to buy the charcoal for us.

We were so giddy to eat grilled food at the rooftop. LOL!

It was drizzling so we stayed in the covered area.

Menu for the night: fish, chicken, veggies wrapped in foil and sausage (not in photo). We really had fun grilling food. The griller was big and very easy to use. Hubby said he'd buy something like this together with an outdoor furniture in the future.

After eating we stayed up a bit and soaked up the view from our rooftop. It's no big city skyline but it was still lovely.

We're having barbeque again tomorrow night. We're planning to do this every Saturday night. Goodluck with our "diet". LOL!

July 22, 2009

Le Jardin

After we went to The Royal Palace and Wat Phnom last Saturday, we decided to have lunch at Le Jardin. I wanted to try it out because I've read a review saying it's a family-friendly place with playroom and an outdoor area where kids can play. That particular day I was famished and tired and I wanted to eat a leisurely lunch as possible while EJ eats on his own and play at the same time.

Well, we weren't disappointed. They did have an outdoor area with a playhouse, slides, a tree to climb, and some toys scattered on the sand. Perfect for EJ.

Waiting for our order.

My order of club sandwich. It was soo yummy with lots of cheese =)

Prawn with green mango salad.

Hubby's order of snapper fish covered with some vegetable.

And for dessert, we ordered apple tart with ice cream. The food were all good. Hubby and I did have the leisurely lunch we anticipated.

I am not sure if we're coming back though. The prices were a little on the expensive side (compared to the other restaurants here in PP).

Le Jardin
#16, Street 360

Problem: Stains

Our apartment rental here comes with a laundry service and a cleaning service. They pick up our laundry three times a week and they bring it back ironed already. And the cleaning ladies come three times a week as well. It is a big help to me.

But I do have a problem. EJ's soiled clothes with stains still come back with stains. And I need to wash it again. Sigh. It's double work and a waste of water, detergent and electricity.

I am thinking of not sending EJ's clothes to the laundry anymore. I think I'd wash it myself.

Makes me wish regular washing machines can take away stains easily. Now I wonder if pressure washers can take away the toughest stains?

July 21, 2009

The Royal Palace

Last Saturday we visited the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh. Its full name in Khmer language is Preah Barom Reachea Vaeng Chaktomuk. Just don't ask me how to pronounce it. LOL!

The Royal Palace has several buildings and is open to the public. However the Khemarin Palace, where the pressent King resides, is off limits to the public.

And please be warned that wearing of sleeveless dress/shirt is not allowed inside, even if you try to cover it with a shawl or a scarf. You either have to leave or buy a shirt at the entrance. I did the latter..hehehe. Entrance fee is $6/person.

Here are some pictures inside:





This white, French-style building was a gift from Napoleon III to the Kingdom of Cambodia.

After Royal Palace we went to Wat Phnom. Story to follow =)

July 18, 2009

No More Milk

EJ does not drink milk from the bottle anymore. It should be a cause for celebration. Instead I am little bit worried because he doesn't drink milk anymore/at all.

When we moved here in PP, I was sure his milk (Progress) is available here. But it's not. And worse, there's not a lot of toddler's milk to choose from. The couple of milk we recognize are Gain and Dupro (I saw this in KL) only.

When EJ ran out of milk, we tried Dupro first. EJ did finish the whole bottle of milk the first time we gave it to him. The following day however, he only drank half bottle of milk. And after that, he refused to drink anymore.

I bought Gain the following day hoping he'd like it better than Dupro. But he doesn't even want me to prepare his milk. He asks for a juice instead.

I know he is old enough to stop drinking milk from the bottle. But I don't think he is old enough to stop drinking milk.

We were actually planning on weaning him off the bottle soon. And shift his milk from Progress to regular milk like Nido and the like. But Nido is not available here!

We tried giving him fresh milk but he doesn't like it either. I remember his pedia telling me just last month that we'd have a hard time changing his milk to a regular milk because Progress is very tasty. The pedia's daughter which is 5 years old already still drinks Progress in the bottle!

We're planning to buy Progress in Manila and have it delivered here. But we're also hesitant because he might not want to drink milk anymore, even if it's his favorite milk.

While this recent change is budget-friendly (milk can be expensive), I cannot help but feel worried for my son's health and his mental and physical development.

Right now, I make him eat more vegetables, fruits and nuts. And I make sure he eats more than he used to before.

July 17, 2009

Preschools in Phnom Penh

As I've mentioned in my earlier post, EJ is attending summer class at The Giving Tree Preschool. It will end on July 31 and regular classes will start on August 10.

I would like to enroll EJ in their regular class. However, the class "seems" to be full. The administrator is currently out of the country and the officer in charge cannot confirm if it's full or not. So while waiting for slot confirmation, I checked other preschools in the area:

Gecko and Garden Preschool - they still have available slot for EJ's age. School time is from 8AM-11:30AM. But they welcome and supervise children from 7:30AM and ask the parents to collect child not later than 12NN.

School Fees:
Registration fee - $150
*Capital fee - $200
Annual tution fee - $1900

British International School - they only have afternoon slot available from 2PM-5:30PM. I have a problem with this schedule because EJ still naps.

School Fees:
Registration fee - $100
Entrance fee - $300
Annual tuition fee - $1950

The Giving Tree Preschool - I like this school and EJ seems to love it too. School is from 7:30AM-12NN.

School Fees:
Enrolment fee - $250
*Capital fee - $200
Annual tuition fee - $2340

*Capital fee goes toward maintaining the high quality of indoor and outdoor learning spaces and equipment.

I noticed that The Giving Tree Preschool is a bit expensive compared to the other two schools I've visited.

If there's no available slot in The Giving Tree, I think we're going to enroll EJ in Gecko. They have an outdoor area and with sands too. An essential for EJ's survival in preschool. Just kidding. LOL!

July 16, 2009

Almost Like Home

I know why we feel at home immediately here in PP.

Locals look like Filipinos. Or vice versa. I've been mistaken for a Khmer in the groceries several times.

We watch The Filipino Channel (TFC). I was surprised to find out there's TFC here. When I found out, I was so happy. Now, I can watch The Buzz on TV every Sunday. LOL!

We eat Filipino food. There's a Filipino store here. The goods are expensive but nothing beats eating mango with bagoong!

I love it here in Phnom Penh because I can have the easy and laid back lifestyle I want but still have little luxuries on the side.

July 14, 2009

Swimming Class

I enrolled EJ in a swimming class today. It's still in his school - Giving Tree Preschool. It's done every Tuesday and Thursday.

He's not afraid of the pool but he's not a fan of it either. Back in KL, we rarely visit the pool in our building. And whenever we do, EJ doesn't stay in the pool for long. He'd rather play around the pool.

Today, I was surprised to find out that he did have fun in the pool. I was afraid he would cry but the teacher said he didn't. I asked him if he'd like to do the swimming class again. And he answered yes enthusiastically.

I hope he develops an interest in swimming as a sport. I would think it's a lot cheaper than car racing or golf. Car is expensive. Golf equipment, golf membership and golf training aids are way too expensive for us.

Swimming sounds just about right =)

July 12, 2009

Sand and Pebble

I know why EJ loves his new school. It's because they have a big outdoor area covered with sands. LOL! He just love playing in the sand.



EJ is attending summer class at an international preschool called The Giving Tree Preschool. Regular classes start next month. There are several pre schools around but I think we're sending him here for the regular classes as well.

July 9, 2009

Comfortable Routine

It's amazing how we've settled down so fast here in Phnom Penh. We've only been here for 9 days and we've developed a routine already. You know, I am a sucker for routine. And having established a routine this fast is incredible.

Hubby and I wake up at 6AM. EJ wakes up at 7AM or sometimes earlier than that. We have a quick breakfast and we're out of the door at 7:30. We drop off hubby to work. Then EJ to his school.

EJ loves his new school! We are always the last one to go out because EJ doesn't want to go home unless everyone is out already. He just wants to play and play in the sand. The school has a nice outdoor area with sands. He just love staying there!

During the time EJ is in school, I go to our building's mini gym. I stay on the treadmill or stepper for an hour. After that I prepare lunch. Then I am off again to pick up EJ and hubby for lunch at home.

After lunch and a little playtime, EJ takes a nap. During this time I go to 'work' and then I meticulously and religiously post ads for our condo for rent in every free ads site I can find. LOL! If there's more time, I read my favorite blogs and of course check out facebook.

I prepare dinner at 4pm! Hehehe. That way, EJ and I can still go to the park or go to the rooftop to play. Then at 6:30, we pick up hubby from work. And then it's dinner time.

At 9PM, we're in the bedroom. Lights off at 9:30 or 10, depending on EJ's mood.

Basically we sleep early and wake up early, totally opposite from our life in KL. We do live a healthy lifestyle here. LOL!

July 6, 2009

Around Phnom Penh

I only realized today that we have been here in Phnom Penh for only six days. But I feel like we've been here for a little more than that.

We haven't visited any touristy place yet because we've been busy settling down in our new place. The weekend was spent arranging furnitures, buying some essential things for our place and buying groceries.

We have noticed that having a car is not really a necessity here. Although they don't have an organized public transportation system, they do have tuk-tuk and motos everywhere. But we still decided to get a car. The convenience of having a car outweighs the cost of having one. Plus we do believe it would be cheaper in the long run because we plan to stay here for longer than two years.

Since hubby and I don't drive, we decided to rent a car with a driver for the time being. Hopefully after two months of driving lessons, both of us would be confident enough to drive our own. Hehehe.

The car and the driver arrived this morning. He dropped hubby to office first. When he came back, I decided to go around the city. I needed to have a Phnom Penh picture anyway to replace the Petronas Towers header. So on a limited time, we went to these places.

Independence Monument - one of the famous landmark.

The park beside the Independence Monument.

We passed by this post office on the way to the Russian Market.

Russian Market. That's our kind driver on the side.

Inside the Russian Market. It's one of their shopping places. I think everything can be found here -DVD/CD/VCD, souvenirs, clothes, silks, accessories, food, etc.

I wanted to buy one because I love bangles. But I stopped myself.....for now. LOL! I will definitely come back and get one of these.

I bought one of this. It's actually like the Filipino version of suman. But with a banana in the middle.

And I also couldn't resist buying this roasted/barbequed banana. I grew up eating this during recess time!

Tomorrow, EJ is starting summer classes. Hopefully, I'd have more time to explore this lovely city.

July 4, 2009

Our New Place

We just moved in to our apartment this morning. We took a longer time to decide. But it's worth the time. I love our new place!

To our families and friends, here's a mini tour of our place. Sorry guys, we chose the one-bedroom only apartment. So if you're coming over, you have to stay on our couch. Hehehe!!!

But we do have a big and comfortable couch for you to sleep on. LOL! Hubby chose this apartment mainly because of the flat TV. Hehehe

The toilet and bath and the laundry area. I don't think we'd be using the washing machine. Our rental comes with a laundry service already, among others.

The kitchen area.

And the terrace. Hubby and EJ are assembling EJ's bike so he can bike around on the big rooftop.

The wifi in our place is terrific. I hope it stays that way.

Everything is well and good. We're quite enjoying our stay here, thank you very much =)

July 2, 2009

Through the Stomach

What better way to get introduced to a country than through its food, right?

For our first night however, we ate in a Filipino restaurant called Bistro Lorenzo. It was near our hotel and we couldn't stop ourselves from entering the place. We wanted to find out if we would be coming back again. And I believe we would. We ordered fried tilapia, batchoy soup with noodles, pork binagoongan and pakbet. It was a lot! But we finished it off. LOL! We forgot to bring our camera that time though so there's no picture to show.

Last night, upon recommendation from hubby's officemate we ate at Khmer Surin.

The place was huge. But it was very cozy. I thought the place would never get full but soon after we arrived it was swarming with tourists and expats. It must be a popular place.

The menu looked very familiar. I was expecting some truly authentic local food but was surprised to see thai food mostly. Maybe local food is influenced by Thai cuisine?

Here's what we ordered:


Beef with broccoli and cauliflower



Beef fried rice



Pad Thai



Spring rolls


We had a pleasant dinner and the food were all good.

Tonight we ventured a little bit farther but still a walking distance from our hotel. We ate in a hotel's (Anise) restaurant.

They had limited menu but I was happy to find a "Cambodian beef curry" so I ordered it.

It tasted like a thai red curry minus a thousand chili. It wasn't hot and spicy. But I like it nevertheless.

Hubby had "Ma's chicken with spanish rice". The explanation to the menu said something like "this dish comes with a warning: if you try this, you'd be asking for more". Hubby was intrigued. LOL!

And we had Vietnamese spring rolls as appetizer.

So far, everything is so good. We can't wait to explore more of this new place. And I must add, I feel right at home here in Phnom Penh. It's definitely a good sign!